Thursday, May 17, 2007

Cinco De Mayo - Revisited

Dan and I find it hard to believe, but we have actually been in Brussels long enough to celebrate a "2nd Annual" something or another. In this case, it was one of our favorite holidays, Cinco de Mayo, and, as fate would have it, I actually have a blog post from a year ago that I can use to benchmark our progress! (See May 2006 archives.)
Last year, when I invited guests to the Cinco de Mayo party, they asked when it was. This year, we had about 25 people attend and not once did I have to tell someone beforehand that the Cinco de Mayo party would be held on the 5th of May.

Last year, my Scottish friend, Sue, asked what she could bring to the party and I suggested a pinata, as I had been unable to locate one in Brussels, even after calling the Mexican Embassy. She searched (in vain) in various liquor stores for pinata liquor. I'm happy to report that Sue's knowledge of the Mexican culture has improved dramatically over the past year, as well as her appreciation (but, apparently, not her tolerance!) of tequila . This year, she spotted a pinata in a store in Aberdeen, Scotland, which, of course, meant that I had to fly to Scotland to check out the pinata selection. So, as further evidence that my world is flat, I purchased a donkey pinata in Scotland for my Mexican celebration in Belgium. (Lupe, don't think for a second that this pinata is going to go the way of the Mermaid one!)

Last year, I was muy feliz to find a store in Brussels that sold sombreros. This year, two guests arrived wearing sombreros! Now that's progress - Ole!

Last year, I could not find sweet and sour mix for margaritas. Over this past year, I've discovered the Grare Food Store outside of Antwerp, which carries sweet and sour mix, an absolute necessary ingredient for Cindyritas. This place has been nothing short of a God-send, so I'm very reluctant to say anything negative about it, but, since "reluctant" does not mean "unwilling," here it goes: Why would the store that markets itself as the place to buy American and Mexican food products in Belgium be closed the week before one of the biggest Mexican/American holidays? What mental genius prepared that vacation schedule? [In the event the store was closed from May 1-1o for a family emergency or something along those lines, please see my previous comment about "God-send" and "reluctant"!]

Vaya con Dios!

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

While I Was Away ...

Well, if you are still reading, thanks. I've been a little distracted lately. Here's April in a nutshell:

  • Spent my birthday weekend in Scotland with some girlfriends. Spotted a highland cow, saw a couple of castles, shopped on Union Street, sipped some scotch at the Glenfiddich brewery, shared some laughs over sheepshagging stories, slept better in 2 nights than I have in 2 years;
  • Drove to Paris to meet a girlfriend who was flying in from the States. It took me less time to drive from Brussels to the CDG Hilton than it took her to clear customs and find the airport hotel!;
  • Flew to Geneva to meet up with a girlfriend from the US for a spa weekend. She got detained and strip-searched at the German/Swiss border (Now there's a starting blog entry if I've ever seen one!), so she was very much in need of a little rest and relaxation; and,
  • Took the train to Paris to spend a weekend shopping with the friend that kept doing laps around CDG Airport in the hotel shuttle bus two weeks earlier. She's much more directional in Galleries Lafayette.

Good times, Good times.